Courage With Grace

Maybe this is an old topic, courage in the face of a diagnosis, but it is an important one to be discussed and given thought.  Take John McCain for example with everyone telling him to be brave and strong through his brain cancer. He had melanoma before that.  His answer was “I‘m facing a challenge, but I’ve faced other challenges, and I’m very confident about getting through this one as well.”  His challenges though dissed by our current president included eight years in a POW prison for example. He was courageous in fighting his political party on health insurance with that famous thumbs down gesture.  Despite a grueling treatment regimen of chemo and radiation he is still making a difference in Washington.

When we get the diagnosis of a life threatening disease our first reaction is to fear for our lives.  We don’t want to die at any cost.  Our brains go into overdrive, flight and fright sets in and the anxiety can be awful.  This is normal.  Sometimes it helps just to know it is normal and that the fear is gearing your body up for the disease. But there is something imperative about finding a neutral zone of stability.  This comes from learning all we can about our disease and where the experts are and how we can use the latest learnings that are scientifically proven.  It is no picnic to be on the other side of this dilemma either, when someone you love gets this diagnosis.  It is a struggle to be the stable one in the picture when you are just as scared at the prospect of losing your loved one as they are of dying.  I have learned this from personal experience.  There are no easy tips here to list.

The courage to face this challenge comes from within and we all have it.  It is a matter of turning courage into action not a feeling. Be proactive with the truth and facts that you find.  We work hard at MIF to ease that pathway for you.  We provide the facts and navigation, and you take them to build your courageous plan.  We won’t let you do this alone.

Catherine Poole
President & Founder

12 responses to “Courage With Grace”

  1. Avatar Sharon Harmon says:

    You and the organization are the best out there.

  2. Avatar point30 says:

    Keep up your great work Catherine, it is very appreciated.

  3. Avatar Bill & Shirley Z says:

    Found you 11yrs ago when facing a stage IIIC diagnosis. You were such a huge part of our decision making. Still consider you our angel.

  4. Avatar Teri Reitz says:

    Thank you Catherine, for ALL you do

  5. Avatar Tom H Riggins says:

    Great hearing the encouraging word from you ! Its been 12 years since my diagnosis and life is good–still remember talking with you and MIF helping with gas cards .. Thanks for all you do. Regards , Tom Riggins

  6. Avatar Sherry Radis says:

    Unfortunately too many people are clueless on how deadly melanoma is. Too many times I’ve heard it as just skin cancer. We do not especially in California have organizations formed to do fund raisers. We need more funding to help research find a cure

  7. Avatar Paul says:

    Thanks for this, and for facilitating sharing among people who have been diagnosed. It’s a big help.

  8. Avatar Jan says:

    As a person diagnosed in 2013 with Stage 4 colon cancer then in 2015 diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma. I fear melanoma the most, since it will attack any part of your body. Nothing can be worst then wondering if every aches and pain you feel is the start of cancer again. I pray that there’s will be a treatment to fight this disease soon.

  9. Avatar Alicia says:

    Very well said Cathy! When facing this type of disease courage is not an option and we need to put it into action as you said. The courage will help us find the best doctors, a good support network and get educated about the best treatment options.
    Thank you and MIF for the work you do to help others dealing with melanoma.

  10. Avatar Amy Willett says:

    You speak what you know, Catherine and as usual, your words are truthful and comforting. MIF helps patients and caregivers face their melanoma diagnosis with knowledge, resilience and grace. MIF is a lifeline for so many facing this disease…invaluable resource. Praying for all those dealing with this disease.

  11. Avatar Maureen McCormick says:

    I was looking for you and couldn’t remember the name — Catherine Poole. I am very grateful in my early years dealing w/the fears that come w/this cancer and you comforting us, especially that YOU were still alive and well after 12 years (at the time). I am now 10 years and no NED, as far as I know, so I feel good and share this w/others too. Thank you Catherine for all you do for us!

  12. Avatar robert says:

    I am new to Melanoma, diagnosed at the end of 2016. I had the usual surgery removing lymph nodes, 1 positive. So I am stage 3B. I look forward to reading all the entries here. Thanks I am 66 yrs old. I had Yervoy treatment but after 4 treatments I had side effects that put me in the hospital for 5 days, No more Yervoy now, watching and waiting, jusy got second clear Pet scan today, what a relief. I have had alot of physical therapy for Peripheral Neuropathy that has helped with walking more normally again .

    thanks and good luck to all

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